Jumping up from the back of the stage from a two year stint as the keyboardist for the San Francisco pop band LUCE, opening for the likes of Nellie Furtado, Sister Hazel, and Dennis Quaid (yes, the actor), Michaels fronts his new band featuring PIANO as the lead instrument. Piano is in caps because it is very important. Also to separate it a little more from the first sentence which was kind of a run-on.
An award-winning member of the West Coast Songwriters Association, Michaels draws from life, love, loss, and other things that begin with L while penning ten number one hits on his debut album. It's an impressive feat really seeing as there are only nine songs on the CD.
GOING BACK TO BED producer Adam Rossi refers to the album as New Frontier Rock. When asked what does that mean exactly, the reply is a characteristically cool, We're not sure. We just like the sound of it.
The first half of the album is comprised of hard-hitting piano tunes that combine lasting melodies with the tongue in cheek lyric quality that reflects Michael's sarcastic and always fun personality. When asked about the title track, Michaels generally overlooks the fact that "known" and "blow" really don't rhyme in the chorus, and says it was just his way of describing what day after day of the unrelenting sunshine in California is capable of doing to a person:
"... so I'm laid off, living in the ghetto with no money, no girlfriend and the damn sun won't stop shining. When the hell does in rain in this state? I am NOT looking forward to tomorrow. Screw it. I'm going back to bed. And then I realized, hey... that's a song."
But beyond the mock anger and childlike antics is a much more sensitive side to Michaels that exhibits his versatility and finesse as a songwriter, apparent on the second half of the album. In CIARDA, we learn the story of the ballet dancer who never got her day, and THE BALLAD OF SAM BROWNING finds us waking up on a cold New Jersey morning a la Springsteen, learning about acceptance as another of life's lessons:
children play in the new fallen dust / making pretty angels in a row / my baby's home prayin' for us / picking up all the ribbons and bows
can't be sure she got what she wanted / but I did the best I could do / there gets to a point in everyman's life / where it's easier to just keep pushing through...
"Michaels has a way of painting a story about someone's life and making you feel just what that person is experiencing," says no one in particular during an imaginary interview with a fan down on Market Street.
GOING BACK TO BED is due out in the Fall of 2003, but due to the recession will likely be released in early winter.
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